Dial Be Back! Space Engineer Builds Mobile from Scratch with Old-School Rotary Dial

Dial Be Back! Space Engineer Builds Mobile from Scratch with Old-School Rotary Dial

A space engineer who despises smartphone culture and modern devices has built her own mobile phone from scratch, featuring a working rotary dial. 

The antiquated keypad is encased in an aquamarine case with a prominent aerial to ensure ample signal.

Justine Haupt, 34, spent three years building the unique phone from scratch and is now selling a kit for others to build their own for $170 (£130).

However, the kits do not include the rotary dial, which Mrs Haupt sourced from an old Trimline telephone.

The device is four inches tall, three inches wide and one inch thick and operates on an AT&T prepaid sim card. New York engineer shows how her rotary dial cell phone worksLoaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time3:42FullscreenNeed Text

A compact green mobile phone with rotary dial

The device is four inches tall, three inches wide and one inch thick and operates on an AT&T prepaid sim card

Woman holding homemade mobile phone

Justine Haupt, 34, spent three years building the unique phone from scratch and is now selling a kit for others to build their own for $170New York engineer explains why she built rotary dial cell phoneLoaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time2:24FullscreenNeed Text

ROTARY PHONE FEATURES  

Size: Four inches tall, three inches wide and one inch thick

Price: $170 

Battery life: 24 – 30 hours  

Two speed-dial buttons 

Display: e-paper

Texting: No 

Internet access: No  

The astronomy instrumentation engineer, at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, made the phone because she dislikes the culture of smartphones.

It has a battery life of around 24-30 hours and the popularity of the phone has led to Mrs Haupt putting together a kit for others to build their own handset. 

She said: ‘I didn’t want to sell it at first but everyone was clamouring and I got so many emails from people begging to buy a phone.

‘Finally someone suggested I should at least make a kit. I very quickly put together a new version of the circuit that would be a little more robust.

‘Now I’m looking at making a more inclusive kit that will come with everything you need. In a week, I’ve had around 30 orders.’ 

She claims to have never owned a smartphone or texted, despite loving technology.  

‘I work in technology but I don’t like the culture around smartphones,’ Mrs Haupt said. ‘I don’t like the hyper connected thing.

‘I don’t like the idea of being at someone’s beck and call every moment and I don’t need to have that level of access to the internet.

‘Whenever I want to look something up, I’m more than happy to do so when I am at my computer.

‘I’ve never texted and building this phone was in part so that I would have a good excuse for not texting.

A compact green mobile phone with rotary dial

The antiquated keypad is encased in an aquamarine case with a prominent aerial to ensure ample signal

A compact green mobile phone with rotary dial

Justine used a 3D printer to create the cell phone case and added speed dialling buttons so she could swiftly call her husband, David Van Popering, 57, and her mother, Lorraine Labate, 60

A compact green mobile phone with rotary dial

The Trimline dial was combined with a cell phone radio development board from hardware company Adafruit

When she did once buy a smartphone for her mother, the scientists was less than impressed with the handset.  

She explains: ‘I went back to my flip phone. I’m an engineer, I love technology, but the phone is not the way I want to do it.’

Instead, she opted to manufacture her own device from scratch using her professional expertise. A long-held appreciation of rotary dials inspired her project.

‘Rotary dials are neat and I wanted to include them in a project. I wanted it to fit in my pocket, be sleek, something I could actually use.’

The Trimline dial was combined with a cell phone radio development board from hardware company Adafruit.

The first prototype that was created was very basic with wires showing and was a mere proof-of-concept. 

But the engineer improved and slimmed down the design until it was a neatly encased working device.  

Justine used a 3D printer to create the cell phone case and added speed dialling buttons so she could swiftly call her husband, David Van Popering, 57, and her mother, Lorraine Labate, 60.  

‘If I want to call my husband, I can call him by pushing a single button. I can call people more quickly on this phone than on my old phone.

‘In rare cases when I want to call a new number, I do use the rotary dial and it is a fun, tactile experience.’    

Insides of Homemade mobile phone

The first prototype that was created was very basic with wires showing and was a mere proof-of-concept. But the engineer improved and slimmed down the design until it was a neatly encased working device

Woman holding homemade mobile phone

When mrs haupt (pictured) did once buy a smartphone for her mother, the scientists was less than impressed with the handset and got ridof it a month later 

Insides of Homemade mobile phone

The space engineer made the circuitry herself and added the rotary dial to ensure there is no texting function on the phone at all 

Insides of Homemade mobile phone

Mrs Haupt manufactured her own device from scratch using her professional expertise. A long-held appreciation of rotary dials inspired her project. ‘Rotary dials are neat and I wanted to include them in a project,’ she said 

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